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United Airlines has been asked to provide information to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about passengers travelling on a flight from Orlando to Los Angeles after a man died shortly after taking a flight, with reports he may have been suffering from symptoms similar to Covid-19.
A flight was diverted to New Orleans on Monday when a man experienced a medical emergency in the cabin, and the airline says that he was taken to hospital after landing where he was pronounced dead.
After the incident, the CDC has requested the airline provide passenger details regarding everyone on board the flight - crew and customers - a spokesperson for United said.
The deceased man's wife has been reported as having told crew that the man had been experiencing coronavirus symptoms including loss of taste and smell, but United said that the agency has not specified the cause of death.
The spokesperson, Charles Hobart, also added that United does not know whether the man's death was related to Covid-19.
Ahead of the flight, the man had been asked to fill out a form confirming he had not suffered any symptoms of coronavirus or tested positive for the disease.
United said: "It is apparent the passenger wrongly acknowledged this requirement."
They added: "Now that the CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection."
The CDC is collecting the passenger data to decide where further action is necessary, a spokesperson for the agency said.
The said: "To protect the privacy of the individual, we aren't providing this information to the public."
Taylor Garland, a spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants, said the four flight attendants quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in Los Angeles - the flight's intended destination - 'per written guidelines'.
Ms Garland continued: "Our union continues to provide support to the crew.
"We urge passengers to comply with airline Covid policies and stay home if you're sick."
Mr Hobart said the airline had been told originally that the man had died from heart problems and asked the passengers whether they would prefer to leave the plane and get a flight at another time or to remain on board and continue.
All the passengers agreed they would prefer to stay on the aircraft and continue to their final destination.
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